For a couple of months ago, one US based company manufacturing wooden products for furniture and interiors ordered us to localize their website into Korean, to lead more Korean visitors to their website, and, of course, asked us to carefully translate keywords for Search Engine Optimization to rank their translated webpage top in the search result.
This client did not know that South Koreans prefer NAVER search engine to google. More than 97% of South Koreans use local search engine either Naver (77%) or Daum (20%), the biggest portal site in South Korea is Naver. One problem is that Naver does not allow to register the websites NOT owned by registered business firms in South Korea. Of course, where there is problem, there are solutions.
How to effectively advertise your products and/or services in Asia
English is Greek to the Most Asian People
Have you ever purchased product or service on the Korean (Japanese or Chinese) websites? If you say "yes," you probably know quite a lot about Korean language AND have Resident Registration Number. Even though you know quite a lot of Korean, you still cannot buy products on Korean websites stationed in South Korea. Because by the time you check out your cart, they sure ask you for your Resident Registration number, which is Korean version of Social Security number of the United States. Without resident registration number, your Master Card or Visa Card on the Korean websites is nothing but another useless plastic card. It is cultural or social difference ...
Most adult Koreans have a number of Master and Visa cards in their wallets or purses. Ask your Korean friends if they have how many. If he or she is working for her own living, he or she is highly likely to have credit cards, not just one or two, but a number of them, quite often a dozen or more. However, 98% or more South Koreans do not dare to purchase products or service from English websites. Why? first of all, 98% of South Koreans feel uncomfortable with English user interface, and are worried if their credit card info could possibly be mis-used or pirated especially in the third world. Most Koreans do not have PayPal account. The only option for Koreans is to use their credit cards, to purchase your product online on your English website. To make Korean customers feel comfortable on your website, you have to localize it as if written by a South Korean writer.
Now you successfuly localized your website into Korean, you still have to register it to the search engines. Note 97% or more of Koreans do not use Google search. They use either Naver or Daum search engine. The problem is again that Naver and Daum does not allow to register websites not owned by the registered business firms sited in South Korea. You are challegned by another tough problem here. We, TranslatorsFrom.Asia, help you resolve all your challenges to make your product accessible to Korean customers.
I have recently localized or participated in the localization projects:
http://www.FreeOffice.com/ - A Germany based software developer, localized all by myself
https://kr.GoDaddy.com/ - Famouse GoDaddy Web Service Provider, participated as a freelance translator
https://MadMimi.com/ - MadMimi Email Marketing Service Provider, participated as a freelance translator
To hear more, click here to chat now, or click here to send message to TranslatorsFrom.Asia.
Translation is NOT Localization
What is localization and how it is different from translation? Why do I need to concern about the difference between British English and American English anyway? There is a huge difference between British English and American English. Recently I translated a legal document regarding Competition Law. In the document ... Company A was fined 2 billion euro for the violation of the competition law ... if you are using British English, a billion means a million millions, whereas if you are using American English, a billion means a thousand millions. Another example, $12,340 means 12 dollars and 34 cents for europeans (UK, France, Germany), whereas the same figure means 12 thousand 3 hundred 40 dollars for Americans. These are a few simple examples of localization, we can never care too much about our translation.
Even the Roman Catholic Church is Localized in Asian Countries. Your Products and Services Should Also Be Localized If You Are to Succeed in These Lucrative and Huge Markets.
The Roman Catholic Church was first introduced to Korea in 18th century. Tens of thousands of Korean catholic christains were martyred for their belief in God. Those early Korean christians refused to bow down to their ancestors, which caused a big social issue in those days. Korea has been heavily influenced by Confucianism for hundreds of years, in which we are supposed to pay respect to our ancestors by bowing down to their shrine. The Roman Catholic Church regarded it as a worshop to another god, which the christian church strictly prohibited. In 1935, Pope Pius XI allowed confucian memorial serivce for the anscestors in China, and then in 1936, Japanese's Shrine visit. These are what localization means and how different from simple translation...
When we do translation, we do not blindly translate our clients' document. Whenever we think the translation needs some adaptation and/or customization into target culture, we provide suggestions and opinions for our clients, but not blindly follow translation source.
Software Localization is Not an Option, But a Must
1. Quite a number of software vendors say that they will localize our product into Asian languages when they have more demands from these market. However, most of global software vendors, such as Microsoft, Apple, Oracle, etc. localize almost all of their software products into Asian languages, even though they do not release all of them to these markets at all. The reason is pretty simple. Koreans or Japanese do NOT purchase English version of the software at all, if any, it would be really rare and exceptional case. If your product is not localized into Korean, then Koreans turn their eyes to the equivalent or competing product from other competitors', that is localized.
My augument is simple like this. If your product is not localized into the Korean language, you cannot expect sales increase in Korean market. As long as your product is popular in your local market, it is highly likely to be popular in Korea too, but not yet lead to sales increase from such market. South Korea (and Japan) is among the highestly developed countries in the world. Refer to OECD statistics for average monthly wages, but South Korea's economic growth is still pretty much higher than most of european countries. Refer to real GDP growth rate estimated by CIA World Factbook. If your product is successful in your domestic market. It's time to turn your eyes to Asia to further expand your business opportunity in the new markets, especially in South Korea, China, and Japan.
2. Another reason you should localize your software application is that UI (user interface) strings are usually short and a bit cryptic. Once the user becomes familiar, everything looks intuitive and self-explanatory. But to the untrained eyes, everything merely makes them more challenged and baffled. In the screenshot below English UI strings are compared to Korean translation side by side. These are from Microsoft Office 2013, Print page.
English UI Korean UI Reverse Translation
Almost all Koreans are using localized version of Microsoft Windows, and they are used to Microsoft UI translation. This means most Koreans who are not trained and accutomed to English user interface, they cannot even guess what Save As, Collated, Portrait Orientation, Custom Margines mean, even if their English is quite advanced. The primary reason why most Koreans (including Chinese and Japanese) are using localized version of Microsoft OS is that they purchase PCs pre-installed with localized version of the operating system. Only very few of the software developers, including me, who are developing software applications targeting world-wide market, install or try English version of the Microsoft OS for testing purpose.
The owner of SAMSUNG coporation once said it that "Change everything but your wife!" South Korea is the most dyamic country in the world. "More than two thirds, or 67.8 percent, of South Korean smartphone users changed their devices last year -- becoming the country to do so the most" quoted from zdnet.com. Practically speaking, younger Korean generations change thier smartphone at least once or twice or more times a year. Refer to List of countries by smartphone penetration. Korea's smartphone penetration rate is 88%, top in the world, 10% higher than the second top, Australia. But for babies, all Koreans use smartphone daily. You can watch VOD movies deep under the ground, i.e, in the subway, on the top of the mountains, using your smartphone. Watch YouTube videos what foreigners are saying about the internet speed and connectivity in South Korea. My office's internet connection is over 90MBps with USD25 per month. Watch my YouTube video testing my internet speed.
Is Medical Translation So Difficult?
I've been working as a professional translator since 1996. Since today is May 6th, 2016, I have been working as a translator over 20 years so far. And quite a number of my friends are also professional translators. I am not talking about project managers at the translation companies, but I am talking about professional translators, who actually are doing the translation for himself or herself. We talk quite a lot about what is difficult subject matter of translation and what is not. All my two decades-year experienced professional translators agree unanimously "no, it is the easiest." What I have translated medical documents to apply for MFDS (Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, Korean counterpart of FDA) / NIFDS(National Institute of Food and Drug Safety Evaluation) approval, and descriptions or instructions for drug usage, such as dose, side effects, etc., specifications of medical devices or instruments to apply for KIMDA, or user's or operator's manuals of medical devices or equipment for use medical practioners or clinical/pathology laboratory.
If you are to export your medical device or equipment into Korea, your medical device or equipment should be approved by MFDS or Ministry of Food and Drug Safety. Whether you are exporting medical device or drug or food, etc., we can help you prepare all necessary documents, and procedure.
The list below are a few of my most recent translations for the patent applications for medical devices, methods, and systems:
I have translated a lot more of such patent applications and medical documents, but since under strict NDA, I cannot provide links for my Korean translation. Please note that to make patent application to Korea, you have to hire Korean Patent Laywer, when they ask you to provide Korean translation of your English documents, you can safely provide them with our translations.
Are we sworn translators?
Are we swon translators? The answer is "No." Then, how can we translate legal document required for the court or for the civil or government office? Well, first of all, there not a single sworn translator in Korea, though there are court-approved interpreters. The reason is simple. We, in South Korea, do not have such system, i.e. sworn translator system. Any translated document should be approved by a notary public to have legal effectiveness.
If you are to prepare legal document to submit to the Korean court or to Korean government office, of course, you need to have Korean translation, then have your translation approved by a notary public. It is that simple. Then is it expensive to have your translation approved by a notary public? Well, it's not. just a few hundreds USD additional fee for a notary public approval service. So, we provide you with legal translation and have them approved with a few hundreds additional cost.
The links below are typical license agreement for software applications:
English Original: license_en.rtf
Korean Translation: license_ko.rtf
with courtesy of SoftMaker
I've majored in Mathematics and Physics in my University, and used to live in the physics lab for 8 or more years, before I graduated in 1995 and began to work as a professional freelance translator. In the courses of Physics, I have learn Electromagentism including that famous Maxwell Equations, and I had played quite long using OrCad, PSpice, etc. electric and/or electronic simulation tools... also burned my fingers with soldering iron. I can read simple electric circuits... and IC chips... MOSFET, etc. I also did a lot of lithography computer simulation to design better filters, burning quite some silicon wafers. I read some basic analogue as well as digital circuits.
Physics deals with all the science or technologies listed on the title of this section. What about Civil Engineering, well, I've studied vibrational phenomina, and structural analsys. Using FEM (Finite Element method or Finte Element Analysis), FFT (Fast Fourier Transform), I have learned a lot to solve ODE(Ordinary Differential Equations) and PDE (Partial Differential Equation) to find natural frequency or fundamental frequency of huge suspension bridges, also for seismic design. I translated Construction Specifications for Yeongjong Bridge from Korean to English. It is a huge suspension bridge that requires very careful seismic design. This was actually the first translation job I did. You can not fail to see this huge bridge if you ever visit Korea, because it connects between Incheon International Airport and Seoul (Incheon in-between). The towers that sustain the suspension bridge are called pylons in English. Physics deals with lots of fields of science. Optics is no exception. Most lay people may not understand what is abberation, why optical microscope is limited at resolution, why light waves diffracts in the prism... etc.
I've translate GHS (Globally Harmonized System) and Chemical Substance Safety Regulation (58K words, Chemistry) from WikiChemia
3. English version of your software application does not always look the same on localized version of the operating system. I recently purchase a copy of Virtual Audio Streaming. I need this software to redirect auto output from one software to another audio processing software. As you see in the screenshot above, those controls encircled with yellow round rectangle, string label (static control) overlaps with drop-down combobox. I am using Windows 8.1 Korean version. Such problem may not occur on English version of the operation system.
4. I am the one who have witnessed the development of modern PCs. My first computer was back in 1984, TRS-80 PC-2. With it I taught myself BASIC programming language, of course, my first computer programming language. It had about 1 ~ 4K RAM. With this I programmed games. Yes, I did. I also used it to solve quite a number of mathematical problems, using numerical analysis. I loved it so much that I carried it with me almost anywhere in the neck holding pouch like the one shown above. Unfortunately I lost it in a library restroom. My second computer was Apple II in 1988, then IBM PC XT/AT/286/386/486... etc. My first contact with C language was in 1990, I haven't used C language much because I move on to C++ language right after I learned C. I have tried almost all computer programming languages, of course, including x86 assembly language. I am hardcore C++ language programmer... Each time new version of C++ standard was released, I learned C++ language again. I created a complete scripting language called Yet Another Language, for scientific purpose. And recently I created EasyWordsPro, advanced video player for learning foreign languages.
5. I am the one who has coined quite a number of Korean UI strings in Microsoft products. As for software localization, I began my career with Visual Basic ver. 5.0 back in 1996. I've participated in huge localization projects for Microsoft products, such as Windows XP, SP1/SP2/SP3... I also participated in localization project such as Oracle's database management software. If you are planning to localize your software product, leave it to us. We always solved lots of unexpected problems. Those are highly likely to happen during localization processes. Software localization is usually composed of two integral parts. One is user interface related things. Such as UI strings and dialog boxes and dailog controls etc. Another part is user assistance such as online help and/or printed manuals. But I recommend video tutorials. Who do you think know more about software localization than the software developer himself or herself? To hear more, click here to chat now or click here to send message to TranslatorsFrom.Asia.
Wow, it looks really challenging?
I personally think ... translating video subtitle is more like fun than work. Doing video subtitling I actually improved my spoken English quite a lot, as well as listening skill. I used to do video subtitling using free tools such as Subtitle Workshop, Jubler, SubtitleCreator, Open Subtitle Editor, SubMagic, etc. But among them all, I like EasyWordsPro best. What the hell is EasyWordsPro? You may have never heard of it. It's no wonder! I have not released to the public yet. It is a advanced video player as well as subtile editing and translating tool. I loved video subtitling so much that I've created my own advanced video player and subtitle editing tool... all integrated into a signle software, EasyWordsPro. Watch the YouTube video on the right. I created it all by myself. Just to enjoy videos better with both original and translated subtitles.
百聞は一見に如かず! Seeing is Believing!
百聞不如一見! 백 번 듣는 것이 한 번 보는 것만 못하다!
As you see in the list above, in case of China, more than 83% of chinese netizens use either Baidu (55%) or Qihoo 360 (28%). In case of Japan, 40% of Japanese netizens are using Yahoo Japan. If you are either a sales manager or a webmaster responsible for Pacific Asian Countries such as Korea, China, and Japan, I guess you may have to have proper consulting from us. We help you advertise your products and service, most efficient and effective way without wasting much of your valuable resources in the wrong way. To hear more, send message to TranslatorsFrom.Asia.
1. Many and many people argue or even claim that Korean (and Japanese) educational system over foreign languages is totally wrong or really messed up. Even after intensive learning longer than 12 years from elementary to high school, most Korean (and Japanese) people do not speak English properly. So, we should reform our educational system to remedy this issue.
Well, I don't agree with such people. Korean educational system over foreign languages has, if not perfect, achieved its goal. Though the number of multicultural families is steadily increasing, most students do not have any chance to practice foreign language (English), make friends or associate with foreigners outside of their classroom. If they are lucky, they may have one native English speaking teacher at most in their whole school, otherwise they never ever have such a chance throughout their life time.
2. If the Korean language is an apple, English (or an Indo-European language) is like an orange. For Koreans, learning English is like understanding how an orange looks and/or tastes like, using the attributes of an apple and other fruits known to Koreans, such as cherry, pear, peach, watermelon, and plum, etc.
For instance, for Koreans to learn an English word, "orange":
We can explain "what an orange is like" to Korean students like this.
This has the size of an "apple," but its shape is not like an apple, but like a baseball, it is round. It tastes sweet and sour like plum, but watery like peach.
Then Korean students would have to rememebr what an orange is like, I mean its atrributes and usages. The Korean students have to memorize (1) its spelling, (2) its pronunciation, (3) its meaning, (4) its usages. Am I exaggering too much? If you think so, you should keep reading below:
3. To memorize / understand / learn a simple English word, Koreans have to put a lot of efforts as below:
If your mother or father tongue is one of the Indo-European languages, and if you learn an English word "play," you may readily understand the above list of sentences using the word "play." But to Koreans (and Japanese) all the plays used in the above list come totally different from each other sentences. Even experienced English to Korean translators may not properly translate the above list without reference to dictionary.
4. Another big challenge for English learning Koreans is that English spellings seem to have no rule at all or totally irregular. Actually, English pronunciation is totally messed up.
5. English grammar is so different from that of Korean. English learning Koreans have to remember not only the meaning of an English word, but also its usage (or grammar) for every each word and every each sentence.
The leaves and lefts in the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 above are grammatically and/or meaningfully all different to each other. Let's see a bit more more complicating example:
Before he (a) left his office to (b) leave for Jeju island to enjoy his summer (c) leave there, he had my (d) leave and (e) left you some spending money.
For English learning Indo-Europeans, the word "leave" is simple to understand and use. But for Koreans and Japanese, it takes a lot of efforts and energy to learn/understand/ and properly use it in their English conversation and writing.
5. You may as well say, "Hey Tom, the word leave is a few of those special cases in English words." Well, that's not true. Almost all English words are big challenges to English learning Koreans:
If your first language is one among the Indo-European languages, if you learn the word "break," you can easily understand all the list above, and can readily use them in our own sentences. But for Koreans and Japanese, all these breaks are totally different to each other, and have to memorize all the above sentences separately one by one.
For example, if a student learned "break" as in the sentence 1 above, he cannot understand the meaning of other sentences listed but 1, because all these breaks are used in different meanings. Some naive people would say if you rememorize 2,000 ~ 3,000 most common English words, you can speak and understand most of daily English. How naive and ignorant these people are! Taking the word "break" as a typical example, for English learning Koreans, "break" is not a single word at all. Its form, or spelling, is or looks like singular (actually, it is not, break, broke, broken), but it can mean a lot of different things. It should be counted not as a single word, but as 10 or more words for Koreans, because we Koreans have to memorize every each usage of "break" separately, otherwise we cannot understand. For example, (1) the broke in "I broke my arm" and (2) the broke in "My watch broke" may look like the same broke to the eyes of the Indo-Europeans, but their usages are very different. The broke in (1) is transitive whereas the broke in (2) is intransitive, for Koreans' eyes, they are two totally different entites or usages. In case of "Let's take a break," now break is used as a noun with the different meaning.
6. Korean (and Japanese) educational system over foreign languages (especially English) is oriented toward Linguistic Structure of English, and Reading Comprehension. Learning Spoken English or Oral Communication Skill in English is SIMPLY A LUXURY WISH TO HAVE for most of Korean students. Our mother tongue, the Korean language herself alone, is already challenging to most Korean students. Quite a number of people mislead that Korean language is very simple and easy to learn! I would say "Really? it is my mother tongue, but still it's very complex and challenging to me!" If we regard chinese character as sugar and Korean grammar as steroid, the Korean language is like sugar on steroid. 70% of Koreans words are based on Chinese characters (sugar), and Korean grammar (steroid) is totally different from that of Chinese. So, Koreans have to strive to learn Chinese characters as well as Korean grammar.
Most of Korean kids learn to read Korean letter even before they enter elementary school. More than 60 or 80% more of them already know how to read it correctly. Reading its pronuciation is one thing, understanding its meaning is another. What's good for if not understood? "That learning to read Korean letter is easy" does NOT mean the Korean language is easy and simple.
Most Korean schools give 3 ~ 4 Korean classes a week for 12 years, from elementary to high school. Mathematics, natural sciences, such as physics, chemistry, geophysics, biology, social sciences, such as geography, world history, economics, law, philosophy, etc. also have vital importance to enter colleges or universities in Korea. English is just one subject among many.
Understanding English structure alone is already challenging and a lot time-consuming. Learning Spoken English is a luxury for most students. Some unthoughtful former minister of education addressed to the public and stressed the republic that we have to reform our educational system over English, saying that foreigners cannot understand "오렌지" (typical pronunciation for orange by most Koreans), it should be corrected as "오린지" (closer to the pronunciation for orange of native speakers).
7. In summary, English is very challenging for most Korean (and Japanese) students for linguistic and cultural differences. Korean educational system over foreign languages (especially English) is age-old and proven approach. Our students are already overloaded and overburdened with other important subjects with higher priorities, such as the Korean language, mathematics, social and natural sciences, etc. It's a good thing if our students' English pronunciation is good, and their spoken English is better, but what's the use for if they cannot understand advanced text in colleges and universities? How are they going to continue their advanced studies? It's a matter of choice among priorities between "understanding the linguistic structure/reading comprehension" and "correct pronunciation/oral communication skill." Korean colleges and universities have chosen the former, understanding the linguistic structure and reading comprehension.
What's Good for Your Website if Not Acessible
and Searchable by Your Potential Clients?
Translation for Video subtitles in real action!
I, Thomas Kim, developed this software all by myself.
These are list of experiences and services,
which we have been providing,
and we think we can do better than others.